The signal difference-to-noise ratio (SDNR) between aluminium sheets and a homogeneous background was measured for various radiation qualities and breast thicknesses to determine the optimal radiation quality when using a Novation DR mammography system. Breast simulating phantoms, with a thickness from 2 cm to 7 cm, and aluminium sheet, with a thickness of 0.2 mm, were used. Three different combinations of anode/filter material and a wide range of tube voltages were employed for each phantom thickness. Each radiation quality was studied using three different dose levels. The tungsten (W) anode and rhodium (Rh) filter combination achieved the specified SDNR at the lowest mean glandular dose for all the phantom thicknesses and X-ray tube voltages. The difference between the doses for different anode/filter combinations increased with the phantom thickness. For a 5-cm phantom, with a peak tube voltage of 27 kV and a SDNR of 5, the mean glandular dose associated with the use of W/Rh was reduced by 49% when compared to the molybdenum/molybdenum (Mo/Mo) anode/filter combination and by 33% when compared to Mo/Rh. Based on these measurements, the use of the W/Rh anode/filter can be recommended. It remains important, however, to select the appropriate dose level.